In a world full of many, many (many, many, many) Spider-Man movies, how is a new Spidey supposed to stand out?
Step one, go back to where it started — the comics. In this case, that’s almost a literal interpretation with stunning animation inspired by the graphic novels. Step two, lean into it, and by that I mean throw in ALL the Spider-People (and -Pig) you can handle.
And that believe it or not is exactly how “Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse” made an incredible (Golden Globe-winning!) Spider-Man movie.
Just kidding, I definitely need to gush about how well done this movie was for at least a few more paragraphs. The “multiverse” is something that most comics explore (because who doesn’t love a good alternate reality scenario?), but Spider-Verse is the first of the modern movies to bring it to the big screen, courtesy of the ill-advised plan set in motion by Wilson Fisk (i.e. Kingpin — voiced by Liev Schreiber) to retrieve his wife and son from an alternate reality (it’s tragic, you’ll cry…well, I did anyway). Portals get opened, heroes are glitched in and out of correct timelines, it’s a sci-fi fan’s dream.
From the start, this movie is very tongue-in-cheek about the influx of Spidies, acknowledging the fact that everyone knows Peter Parker’s (Chris Pine) origin story, not to be confused with Peter B. Parker (Jake Johnson…aka the Spidey movie fans know and love) or Peni Parker (Kimiko Glenn). And because the Parker family has had a monopoly on the Spidey senses for some time, let’s not forget Gwen Stacy (Hailee Steinfeld) or Spider-Man Noir (Nicolas Cage) or Spider-Ham (John Mulaney).
That brings us to Miles (Shameik Moore), the latest radioactive spider bite victim and the central character of this new franchise. He’s a super smart high school kid living in a world that already has a Spider-Man (the Chris Pine version) and must find what kind of Spider-Man he is.
I won’t tell you any more of his origin story (because spoilers), but Miles, along with a couple of his fellow Spider-People (and -Pig) are a breath of fresh air for the franchise, one that came to the comics made years ago (yes, that includes Spider-Ham, who predates the Spider-Pig reference in “The Simpsons”…I have fun facts for days), so it’s nice to have these diverse storylines brought to the big screen.
Attempting to balance seven Spider-People (and -Pig) in one movie was an enormous task, yet, this movie (which I sure hope has an Oscar in its future) blew through the challenges and made an incredible superhero movie. Next step? I presume it’s making the Tobey Maguire, Andrew Garfield, and Tom Holland Spider-Verse movie of everyone’s dreams. Lookout! Here come the Spider-Men (and -Women and -Pig).